Cool Bookish Places

Destination Bookstore: Livraria da Vila in São Paulo, Brazil

Entrance to Livraria da Vila

Open store front © Leonardo Finotti

Out of a narrow two-story house, architect Isay Weinfeld designed a bookstore called Livraria da Vila. Every corner of this fantastic bookstore invites shoppers to spend time reading and exploring.

Weinfeld took the idea of an “open concept” floor plan to an extreme, creating atriums on the ground floor so that visitors can peek at the other floors in the store. The basement was converted into a children’s reading area and theater for lectures and classes. Between the first and second floors is a book-bordered staircase.






All photographs are by Leonardo Finotti, used with permission from Isay Weinfeld Studios:

Livraria da Vila shop front.

Pivoting, glass-fronted bookshelves serve as the store’s doors


View from groundfloor

Ground floor atrium



View from staircase

View from staircase

Between the first and second floors

View of staircase from second floor


Bookshelves and seating

What really makes the design of the Livraria da Vila unique is how it utilizes books not just as a product to be sold, but as a decorative element. A shopper can’t pick up one of the books that line the atrium between the basement and ground floor, for example; or the books in the pivoting, glass-fronted bookcases that serve as the store’s doors. Yet these parts of the store feel organic, using books as the basic building blocks of the design.

View into basement

Basement atrium

Children's section

Basement atrium

Another view of the basement

Children’s books section

Bookstore closed

Back-lit shelves serving as doors shut once the Livraria is closed.

Through Weinfeld’s design, the Livraria is literally a house of books.


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